A Japanese cyber crime expert and blogger was found stabbed in a restroom and pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after. This shocking murder of Kenichiro Okamoto, by an online user with whom he had an online feud is taking the news world by storm. In an ironic revelation, he was attacked shortly after delivering a speech at a conference on ‘bickering on the internet and how to handle them.’ Giving personal experiences from social networks, the late Okamoto shared a range of tips on traffic management and how to deal with arising issues such as legal threats, stalkers and trolls. He however, it is reported, did not live much longer to put his lessons to practice – dying tragically from that which he spent his professional life tackling. This story is more sad than ironic unfortunately.
Okamoto, an employee of a Tokyo cyber security consultant agency was also a renowned blogger in Japan. On the day of the murder, he spoke at a conference in South West of Fukuoka City as this was his usual routine to do so. The 41 year old made his address extensively in a session that lasted for two hours. He later left for the restroom where he was attacked by one of the conference attendees. The police report revealed that he was stabbed multiple times in the chest and neck. An autopsy will reveal if his heart was damaged, but certainly loss of blood was a major factor in his eventual death upon arriving to the hospital. His attacker followed him into the toilet where the assault happened. He was discovered hours later, and unconscious. Police said the murder was premeditated and well planned.
The cyber crime specialist had extensive experience blogging about the dark web. He commented on several topics ranging from drugs and crime on the darknet and even made several TV appearances offering his expertise to viewers.
This suspect is Hidemitsu Matsumoto, also an active blogger but internet enemy of Okamoto. According to revelations from his activities online, namely through his writing and blog, the 42 year old who went by a user name Teino Sensei, had a years long battle with his victim, dating back to 2016. The suspect, whose troll name translates to ‘Mr. Imbecile’, is said to have sent Okamoto ‘hundreds’ of threats. The threat was so grave that Okamoto reported him to the administrator of the blog site but to no avail. Teino’s multiple troll posts went ignored. Consequently, Okamoto blocked the abuser. Yet, if anyone knows how a troll thinks, he is constantly changing his identity and so Okamoto ended up receiving blog attacks from new names, presumably a guise for Matsumoto.
Hours after Okamoto was announced dead, Matsumoto turned himself into the authorities and confessed to the murder. He informed them that he had never met his victim until that same afternoon. According to reports, an anonymous user made a post relating to the crime a few minutes before the accused presented himself to police. The post, allegedly made by Matsumoto, read that it was his ‘answer to all those who have called him stupid’. It additionally proclaimed that he had graduated from being ‘just a keyboard warrior’ and that he was no longer just aggressive online. In his defense, Matsumoto claimed he simply ‘hated’ the blogger. A blood stained knife was found on his person.
The internet, and prominently the Japanese online space in respect to the blogger’s murder, is rife with all sorts of risks. While the clearnet is a little better than the unregulated darknet, it is not altogether safe. Netizens launch abusive attacks and threats to fellow users on a daily basis especially on leading social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In Japan, internet users are forced to use pseudonyms when engaging on such sites. While hiding an identity is a basic feature of the darknet, it is not so perverse in the Japanese nation.
Abuse of the internet leading to crimes emanating or related to its use is a downside that comes with the technology that has since changed basic life operations as we know it. The deep web is more susceptible to this kind of misuse due to the fact that it offers cover through anonymity. Criminals use the darknet to find murderers for hire where they offer their services through proxies. No murder for hire darknet service has proven itself legitimate, however. They are paid through cryptocurrencies, further masking their identities and making it near impossible to trace them and usually ending up with the buyer getting arrested.
A speedy trial is expected as the suspect admitted to his crime. He is currently detained without further information.